Magellan Financial Group Research Paper

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Magellan Financial Group's head of research, Nikki Thomas, has left the fund manager after 10 years following a restructure of the investment team.

Magellan has also apparently ceased development of a non-US international strategy that was seeded in August, according to an update from the research house Morningstar issued on Friday.

As the head of research, Ms Thomas was one of the most senior investment team members under chief investment officer and co-founder Hamish Douglass.

Internally, Magellan has made several changes, returning macroeconomic research to the investment team from which it was previously separated, and restructuring its healthcare team to integrate it with franchises coverage led by Vihari Ross. Linked to those changes are the two earlier departures of Sam Churchill and Ted Alexander in November. It is the first meaningful shake-up of the investment team structure since the $50 billion fund manager started.

"Taken together, these changes warrant further analysis, given such a high level of turnover has occurred in a short period of time. However, the implications for the core Magellan Global Equities strategies are limited," Morningstar analyst Michael Malseed said.

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Last week, Ms Thomas represented Magellan in Melbourne at an investment forum hosted by Future Generation where she pitched Starbucks as a long idea. Magellan declined to make any further comment regarding the changes, which it has told clients will not detract from its investment performance.

Ms Thomas did not respond to inquiries from AFR Weekend.

Morningstar highlighted the decision to close the embryonic international strategy as "putting existing investors' interests ahead of the desire for future growth in FUM" – funds under management – "which we applaud".

Ms Thomas was head of research since 2014 and joined in 2007 when Magellan was a minnow in global equities. Previously she was a broker at Deutsche Bank.

Magellan shares fell 15¢ on Friday to $26.70, trimming this year's gains to 12 per cent. The fund manager is enjoying a more prominent profile since it acquired the naming rights for the Australian men's cricket team home Test series beginning with the Ashes and running for three years.

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